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Residents Around Oil Refinery Land In Hoima Question Compensation Deal

Local leaders and residents in the proposed oil refinery site in Kabaale parish Buseruka sub county Hoima district are still worried as government moves to demarcate land on which they settle for the refinery construction.

A week ago,  Ministry of energy officials announced that mapping and surveying of the land proposed for the oil refinery begins in two weeks time as government finalizes plans to start construction works.

But area leaders and residents still have concerns especially on how the affected people will be compensated and relocated.

Geoffrey Komakech, the Buseruka district councilor says government has remained silent on the modalities of compensation and this is a concern of everyone in the affected area. Komakech says since the oil discovery land in the area has increased in value with an acre now going for between 7 and 8 million shillings up from 1 or 2 millions in the recent past.

The councilor is however worried that his people may not be compensated according to the current value of their land.

The local leader is also concerned over government’s failure to have an affirmative action to register and award land titles for the affected people saying this may make it difficult for many of them to receive compensation.

According to Komakech majority of the affected residents have no land titles for the land on which they settle.

Patrick Musisi, a resident of Kabaale Two village wants 600 million shillings for his 25 acre piece of the land in the proposed refinery area. Despite his wish for that total sum of money however, Musisi has no land title and his fears are that he may miss out or get less compensation.

Musisi who has agricultural farms on the land also wants government to show them the alternative land for relocation before they are evicted. The resident proposes that the land for relocation should be in Buseruka also saying he does not want to miss out on the oil benefits by being relocated to a far place.

During a sensitization meeting for local leaders in Buseruka last weekend Robert Kasende, the Assistant commissioner in the ministry of energy and mineral resources disclosed that issues of compensation will be looked into after the land demarcation exercise.

Kasende however said compensation will be made depending on the value of properties on the land. The refinery will sit on a 29 square kilometer piece of land.

The proposed land covers nine villages of Nyahaira, Kyapaloni, Nyamasoga, Kabaale 2, Kabakete, Kitegwa,Katooke, Kigaaga and Nyansenene.

According to ministry of energy officials, the refinery construction works begin later this year and will last four years.

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